It’s something we’ve all done. Despite knowing that it isn’t a good idea, we’re all guilty. Staying up too late on a Sunday night before going back to work on Monday is a familiar feeling. Usually, because we don’t want our weekend and free time to end – both having gone too fast as per normal. In our current situation, with people having to work from home and abiding by lockdown regulations, it can be more difficult than ever to stick to a regular routine. Without that office environment, we’ve all heard from friends that keeping on a consistent schedule is hard. So even though you’re at home chilling out, having to get up early the next day can be a challenge.
Here are a few tips and natural solutions to make sure you’re getting in that good sleep, to make sure lockdown isn’t keeping you down. Sleep is the culmination of the day’s activities, so starting from the morning:
Try to wake up naturally around the time you normally do (keeping your schedule consistent during the weekends is key). Make sure you’ve got a good 8/9 hours, but don’t oversleep. We’ve all had that feeling of sleeping for TOO long and emerging feeling even more tired. Get up and tick off anything that needs doing for the day. Your mum was probably right, in that, getting things over and done early means more time to relax in the afternoon with less stress. Don’t leave things hanging over you that will need doing later on. If it takes 5 minutes or less, best to do it now.
Carry on ticking any tasks off until after lunch, so that you’ve got them managed, then you can wind down. It is your Sunday after all. Get out and enjoy some fresh air, make the most of the sun if it’s out and get some exercise in. Exercising has been shown to be vitally important to improve sleep and mental wellbeing, so don’t forget to look after yourselves during this difficult time.
As evening draws around, kick back and relax. Take time to read a book, watch TV or craft a new summer playlist. With lots of us in lockdown with family or friends, try out some group activities. Dust off the old puzzles or board games, pick up some cards and finally get around to teaching yourself poker, or bridge, to begin a much-coveted family tournament. With socializing outside still limited by government regulations, we’ve all begun to realize how important it is, so don’t miss the opportunity to bond with the people closest to you. Not only does it bring a lot of joy to one’s life, but it is also very important for sustaining good mental health.
Loneliness and lack of social interaction or acceptance can lead to feelings of depression or apathy, or lead to social anxiety down the line, which is something you definitely don’t want to fall into. Keep your social life active, and life-work balance in check to maintain a feeling of normality as much as possible, even if ‘the new normal’ is being online a lot.
With dinner over and Monday looming, it’s time to set yourself up so that you make it easier for future-you. Make ‘past-you’ someone who is looking out for ‘future-you’, not that mate who is definitely a bad influence.
If you’re reaching for that extra glass of wine to help you nod off, you’re not the only one, but perhaps hold off. Alcohol affects your sleep cycle and can damage your sleep quality. It might help you initially fall asleep, but you may equally wake up the next day not feeling rested. It can make you spend more time in deep sleep and less time than usual in the important REM stage. At the end of the day, you will soon come to realize that it isn’t worth it because of the long-term negative effects it will inevitably have on your body. Not to mention, it is a very unhealthy habit to get into, when you reach for alcohol every time you struggle to fall asleep.
If you’re looking for a better way to relax before bed, many people report success in taking CBD products. You can find it in a handy oil form that is best applied by dropping under the tongue or CBD gummies, which are easy-to-take and taste delicious while providing beneficial effects. Or double down advantages by dropping some into a herbal tea to really chill you out (make sure it is caffeine-free!).
You won’t be the first to try this natural alternative; you’d be following the lead of professional athletes who use CBD to relieve pain and chronic aches, aid recovery and stay fit. It is also reported that the use of CBD oil for anxiety can help to reduce stress levels, improve mood, and aid relaxation. So, after some exercise in the morning and relaxing in the evening, why not try swapping out that extra beer for CBD instead? To find the best CBD products, please visit Alphagreen.
As time rolls round to crawl under the covers, there are a few things that experts recommend to help make sure you have the best sleep before the alarm for Monday morning hits. Build your own routine before bed. Reduce blue light exposure, from phones, TVs and laptop screens. Relax by taking a warm bath/shower or reading a book. Supplements such as melatonin or magnesium are another option, as they have been shown to help improve sleep quality. Optimize your room so that it isn’t noisy or light, and make sure it is the right temperature. Write down a list of anything you need to remember to do for the following day or week, this allows you to relax by not having thoughts bouncing around as you’re trying to go to sleep.
Sleep has been shown time and time again to provide a myriad of health benefits, so whilst you might have a little extra time in the mornings without the need to commute, it’s the perfect time to set yourself a new schedule to make sure you get some quality hours asleep. As with most things, different things will work for different people, but during unique times like these don’t be afraid to try something new.